Advent is a time for preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus as well as to anticipate His second coming. During this time we need to look into our hearts and see what it is that is keeping us from totally embracing Christ - and then get rid of it (whatever that it might be).
For many people (and I include myself in this group!), one big thing that might be keeping them from giving all of themselves to Jesus is selfishness. What a hard thing to root out of our souls! It is so hard to fight against all the time. This time of year it seems especially difficult to fight off selfishness because we are so tired and so stressed preparing for the holidays.
Well, the best way I know of to fight off selfishness is to do something nice for someone else! Last night I came across an incredible example of this in action - an entire community getting together to give to a family that has had one incredibly horrific year.
You might remember the Girard family. Their dad, Thom, and oldest son, Marc, died this past summer in a swimming accident. This was after they lost their home to a fire and had been living in a trailer. This past week they became the recipients of a brand new home built through the TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". This is what it's all about, folks: hundreds of people donating their time, money and services, working in rainy and freezing conditions, to give an incredible home to a very deserving family. Take the time to check out this house and follow the progress through the blog. See how God takes care of us? I know a new house will never make up for losses this family has been through, but what a comfort to know that they now have a house to live in.
While checking this all out, I found myself overwhelmed when I thought of the gift of themselves that all these people gave and at the same time I felt bad for the grumbling I've done the past two weeks over minor inconveniences. I'm so glad that God puts these examples in our face so that we can gain from them, too. Please join me in praising God for His goodness and generosity and I pray that we can all learn from this great example.